A terrorist attack and political blunders
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, September 14, 2012
9/14/12 at 3:34 AM
The story of the attack in Libya that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador, continues to unfold.
In the meantime, protests over an amateurish, hate-mongering film deriding Islam has set off a series of dangerous protests in the region at U.S. embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco and Sudan. The Swiss embassy in Tehran, Iran, was besieged. Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.
The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. It does not seem to be a spontaneous attack by an angry mob, but a well-planned military attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. U.S. officials suspect the attack was planned and carried out by elements of al-Qaida. The attackers were well-armed and coordinated.
President Barack Obama issued a strong statement and vowed to bring the killers to justice and dispatched Navy ships to Libya. His statement received bipartisan support from Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney, however, blundered when he attempted to make political gain of the attack. Romney criticized Obama for "sympathizing" with the attackers. He was wrong to do so and he was wrong in his facts. The embassy in Cairo had issued a statement before the attacks in Benghazi calling for calm and respect for all religions.
This was a time when Americans ought to be as one. Many Republicans, other than Romney, believed that also and supported the president and the country.
Ambassador Stevens was a longtime, well-respected diplomat. He might have been the best friend the Libyans had. He helped guide its rebels during the recent revolution and was playing an important role in forming the country's new government.
That bond was evident Thursday when Libyans filled the streets of Bahrain with signs of remorse for the death of Stevens and calling for the arrest of the "thugs" who committed the crimes.
What happened in Libya and the tension that continues in the region is no reason to turn our backs on those countries.
It is important, however, that those who are guilty of the murders of Americans be brought to justice. It might take a while, but even terrorists must be smart enough by now to realize that the United States doesn't give up.
Original Print Headline: Murders